Dates Set for Comments on FCC’s Zonecasting Rulemaking Proposal for FM Boosters

The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to allow zonecasting by FM booster stations was published in the Federal Register today, setting the comment deadline as February 10, 2021 with reply comments due on or before March 12, 2021.  We’ve written about that proposal here and here.  The FCC proposes to allow FM boosters to originate limited amounts of programming (up to 5% of any program hour) different from their primary stations.  According to the proponents of the proposal, this will allow for insertion of hyper-local content including local news and advertisements in different parts of any station’s coverage area.  So, for instance, an FM station could run in the same commercial spot break ads for different car dealers in different parts of the primary station’s market where that station has boosters.  As we wrote when the NPRM was released, the FCC asks many questions in the NPRM – including technical questions about the likely interference that will result from implementation of the proposal.  It also asks operational, business and policy questions about the impact of the adoption of the proposal.  If you have a position on these issues, now is the time for the filing of comments.

Courtesy Broadcast Law Blog